The Stasi (Secret State Police) Museum, in the Lichtenberg district of Berlin was used as the headquarters of the East German secret police. It was their job to gather intelligence, which involved secretly spying on their own people as well as international espionage.
In 1990, an angry group of people attacked and overran the building, which led to the evacuation of the Stasi. Shortly afterwards, the building was converted into a political museum.
The office of Erich Mielke, who was the Stasi minister for over three decades, was preserved. The room is fully accessible to visitors who are free to wander around. It has been left in much the same state as when it was abandoned in 1990 and gives an insight into the austere working conditions during the communist reign of East Berlin.
The canteen, conference room and other offices have also been preserved. Included in these are many authentic pieces from that time period including surveillance equipment such as microphones and cameras. There are also several exhibitions that tell of the horrific techniques used by the Stasi agents to gain information from its own citizens.
Another exhibit chronicles the resistance and opposition towards the communists from 1945 to 1989 and others showcase gifts given to the secret police by other communists. An exhibit can also be viewed which relates how the GDR collapsed and how Germany went about the process of reunification.
For those non-German speaking tourists, it is best to book a guided tour as most of the exhibits are in German only. These tours usually take between one and two hours to complete.
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